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La Mirage
Garden Hotel and Spa

A blog by Ashley Rogers


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LA MIRAGE GARDEN HOTEL & SPA – An Elegant, Luxurious, Sophisticated & Truly Unique Boutique Hotel in Ecuador

June 10, 2014


Photos and Blog by Ashley Rogers

[ Originally published at - reposted here with permission of the author. ]

There’s very few boutique hotels in the world where one can say they truly experienced first-class elegance. But recently, Michel Blanchard and I had the distinct honor and pleasure of doing just that, when we checked into the ultra luxurious La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa for two days of decadent pampering.

Elegant Lobby and Sitting Room Elegant Lobby and Sitting Room

Exterior of La Mirage
Exterior of La Mirage

Located in Cotacachi, a small mountain town known primarily for its production of handmade leather products, La Mirage is found about 2 hours north of Ecuador’s capital city of Quito.

Downtown CotacahiDowntown Cotacahi

Tucked beneath snow-capped volcanoes and set amidst rolling hills, rose plantations, colorful Indigenous markets and artisan villages, La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa offers a privileged, scenic and cultural experience in the idyllic mountains of the Andes.

Mountains and Snowcapped Volcanoes Surround Hotel
Mountains and Snowcapped Volcanoes Surround Hotel

Colorful peacocks wander across the estate’s lush lawns, while hummingbirds flutter through the gardens. Fountains adorn the patios abloom with roses, calla lilies, fuchsia and bougainvilleas and three restaurants offer some of the best gourmet fare in Ecuador.

Enchanting Peacocks Roam the Grounds
Enchanting Peacocks Rome the Grounds

Beautifully Manicured Grounds
Succulent, Manicured Lawns and Gardens Surround the Hotel

A member of the distinct Condé Nast group of hotels, La Mirage is also part of Luxury Destinations Ecuador (LDE), a premier hospitality organization that offers its clients individualized, intimate and discreet experiences with high quality services. The goal of LDE, which also features Mansion Alcázar Boutique Hotel in Cuneca and Mansion del Angel in Quito, is to provide peace of mind, tranquility and a deep, expansive experience of well-being.


Having said that, La Mirage definitely exceeded all our expectations, and we were truly impressed by the staff’s attentive and courteous service, the exceptional attention to detail, the glorious gourmet food, the elegant rooms & suites, and the beautiful spa with more than 20 treatments to chose from. The spa also includes an inviting solar-heated pool set in a Roman Greco bath complex.

Pool Area in SpaInviting Solar-Heated Pool Area Inside La Mirage Spa

Relax poolside Relaxing Poolside

Built in 1986, La Mirage is a contemporary resort, with old-world charm and amenities, that is perched on the hilltop grounds of a 200 year-old Hacienda.

We arrived in the late afternoon, but the owner — Mr. Jorge Espinosa — had graciously kept the kitchen open for us to have a yummy bowl of quinoa soup after our long trip back from Colombia. We were planning a four-course dinner that night, so wanted to “save ourselves” for that, but the soup hit the spot after a tiring trip.

I was invited to stay in the palatial, long-term suite, perfect for people who want to stay for a longer visit to site see, or when finding a place to live in Cotachachi or surrounding areas. This particular suite comes with a large and beautiful living room with a fireplace and desk, a large bathroom, an equally large dressing room an office area, as well as a well-appointed kitchen and a private front lawn and porch.

Long Term Living Suite Porch
Long Term Living Suite Outdoor Porch

LongTerm Living Suite Living Room LongTerm Living Suite Living Room

Long Term Suite Bedroom
Long Term Suite Bedroom

La Mirage boasts 23 distinctly unique rooms and suites, with the elegance and comfort that La Mirage is known for, including fresh roses in your room, plush towels and robes, warm and cozy duvets and pillows, and … in the suites … a warming fireplace that is lit at your request by the accommodating staff each evening.


No two rooms or suites are alike.  Michel’s suite had a completely different, but equally luxurious feel.

Double Suite
Suite with Two Queen Beds and Sitting Room

Sitting Room in Suite
Sitting Area in Suite

Sitting Room Sitting Room in Suite

Suite Suite

Single Bed Suite
Single Bed Suite

Double Beds Suite with Two Queen Size Bed

And, now for the food! It’s incredible … a true dining experience from start to finish. The formal dining room is elegant and sophisticated, appointed with beautiful antiques, flowers, perfect place settings and surprises like little music boxes that are brought to the table with a delectable taste treat inside. The service is impeccable … just the right amount of personal attention, without hovering. And, the wine and the food is delicious beyond words. Michel and I had not wined and dined like this (with a lot of emphasis on the wine, of which they have a wonderful selection) in a very long time, and were thrilled with every bite. Michel was besides himself when he discover that his very favorite French dish, escargots, was on the lunch menu. When he got to dinner and didn’t see it on the dinner menu, Mr. Espinosa made an exception and brought it to the table. Now that’s service!

Main Dining Room Main Dining Room

Daily Chef's Choice of a tasty Muse-Bouche served in a Music Box - Pure class Daily Chef’s Choice of a tasty Amuse-Bouche served in a Music Box – Pure Class

Breakfast Buffet
Breakfast Buffet

A sumptuous breakfast buffet is available every morning, served in a light and airy glass enclosed restaurant. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, and local Ecuadorian goodies are made, piping hot, and delivered to your table upon request.

Michel at Breakfast
Michel at Breakfast

Chirping Birds, the Perfect Breakfast Accompaniment
Chirping Birds, the perfect breakfast accompaniment

Lunch can be enjoyed in one of the glass pavilions on the lawn over looking the peacocks, hummingbirds and beautiful grounds

Garden Room Garden Room

There is also a lovely lounge and bar, where you can drink a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or just curl up with a good book in front of the fireplace.

Pandora Lounge & Bar Pandora Lounge & Bar

During the day, guests can treat themselves to nearly 20 different types of massage and pampering in La Mirage’s famed spa. From a Swedish, Chocolate Massage, or Ecuadorian Volcanic Clay Body Treatment, to a spiritual Purification Treatment — performed by a female shaman, that includes blending relaxation practices using the Floating Tub, the Shaman Ritual and ultimately the Aromatherapy Spiritual Massage — these unique treatments are aimed at relaxing body, mind, spirit and soul.

Spa Room Spa Treatment Room

Spa Room Spa Treatment Room

I had what was called the Equatorial Energy Bath, and it truly was one of the most relaxing massages I’ve ever had.  The glorious ritual starts when you step into a bath filled with rose petals, crystal energized water, mineral salts, medicinal herbs and the aroma the medicinal Palo Santo, a plant found in Ecuador’s Machalilla National Park.  The highly-trained Indigenous therapist then aligned and balanced my Chakras using various crystals and followed up with amazing full-body massage that included the use of stones, energized in the Ecuatorial Sun, and natural crystal formations found in the volcanic rocks of this mystical region. Ahhh, heaven!

Spa Treatment Room Spa Treatment Room

Relaxation Room Relaxation Room

After my massage, I stumbled into the Relaxation Room, where I spotted Michel, looking equally relaxed and happy, sipping a cup of herbal tea in front of the the warming fireplace.

I have to say, neither one of us ever wanted to leave this paradise. Neither do the peacocks!

Peacocks Peering Into Dining Room Peacocks Peering Into Dining Room

For more information on how you can have a pampering and luxurious weekend or retreat at the fabulous La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa, or information on other LDE Luxury Tours combining hotels and travel in Cuenca and Quito, please contact us and we will be happy to help you book your perfect vacation. Mention Ecuador At Your Service at any of the three LDE Boutique Hotels (La Mirage in Cotacachi, Mansion Alcázar in Cuenca, or Mansion del Angel in Quito when checking in, and you’ll get two free glasses of wine on us!

[ Originally published at - reposted here with permission of the author. ]

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